The need for experimental spaces is critical in today's world. We are facing challenges we have not faced before. Some people call these 'messy' or 'wicked' problems. These problems are complex and can only be tackled through the participation of people from a variety of disciplines and cultural backgrounds. Another term for experimental spaces is "innovation lab". Innovation is not just applied to technologies, but is also needed for the development of new institutions and rules. The Barbets' Duet, described elsewhere on this website, is a major new experimental space.
As Coordinator of the Barbets Duet, which seeks to support people who support the natural world, Barbara Heinzen is discovering a growing number of experiments testing new ways of valuing environmental services and including them in our economic affairs. Many are well-known, like the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), or the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS). Others are on a smaller scale, but represent critical new experimental spaces for inventing a new social and economic system.
Over the past fifteen years, Barbara Heinzen has been actively involved in developing experimental spaces that bring people together from different disciplines and organisations. BEAD was a business group designed to address the impact of infectious diseases on business. LIFT's Business Arts Forum and Phakama are both experiments using the arts as a source of learning.